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Lloyd Wright and Taliesin: The Photographs of Pedro Guerrero
The private collection of vintage and period exhibition prints by Wright's greatest photographer.
Frank Lloyd Wright gave Pedro Guerrero the last twenty years of his life.
The open access Wright granted ensured that the images of this skilled photographer became the truest biography of the legendary architect. From 1939, when Taliesin set up its western front in Arizona, to the death of Wright in 1959, Guerrero created some of the greatest architectural photographs of the last century.
Taliesin was the name Wright gave to his stunning home in Spring Green, Wisconsin in 1911. He again attached it to the desert outpost whose landscape could not have been more different from his Midwestern birthplace. What began as a humble encampment grew into a Xanadu housing Wright's genius called "Taliesin West." Guerrero's dramatic essays in light and shadow were inspired by these remarkable buildings.
Guerrero's photographs have been used in House and Garden and the New York Times and for exhibits in New York's Museum of Modern Art. ArchiTech Gallery has acquired a portion of Pedro Guerrero's private collection of original vintage and period prints of these famous images.
All works are for sale. Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin: The Photographs of Pedro Guerrero opens Friday, September 16th and runs through Saturday, November 19th, 2005.
Photograph © Pedro E. Guerrero
Notes on the Exhibition:
When the opportunity arose to acquire dozens of Pedro Guerrero's vintage and period prints of his Wright work, I leapt at the chance. To buy over 175 photographs that Guerrero printed for his own collection and for his exhibitions was too important an event for me to cry poor. And I also had to back it up with a deluxe show at the gallery, which compounded the amounts of money I had committed.
His portraits of Wright were among the best ever made, including the old lion's last exhausted sitting before his death in 1959. But the images of Taliesins East and West were unlike any other body of work in revealing perspectives and framing of the subjects that let the viewer figuratively see through Wright's own eye.
When I first examined his work in the early nineties, I realized that of all the biographies that were written by Wright's intimates, Guerrero's photographs were the most useful in understanding why Wright did what he did.
There were too many photographs in my new collection to show all at once so I decided that the greatest ones of Taliesin West could be digested in a single exhibit. Simply framed and closely spaced on the walls, they would show nearly every important angle of one of Wright's great constructions. And since most of them were shot in 1940, when the buildings were new, one could see his original intent before necessity forced Wright to enclose buildings that he envisioned to be indoor/outdoor pavilions.
The reviews by the two main art critics in town were stunning. They clearly saw the difference between Guerrero and everybody else. "...you will never see a sustained group of pictures that surpasses Guerrero's in formal power," wrote Alan Artner of the Chicago Tribune. "He deals here in essences, massive forms reproduced in ink black that are frequently as challenging as abstractions by Franz Kline."
Kevin Nance of the Sun-Times wrote: "In this small but ravishingly beautiful selection of photographs of Taliesin West, Wright's winter home near Scottsdale, Ariz., Guerrero's immaculately composed black-and-white images capture the almost prehistoric air of mystery that surrounds one of the architect's most enigmatic creations."
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